It’s Friday! Yes! Finally, time to sit back and unwind and enjoy two whole days of doing exactly what you want instead of worrying about exact schedules and deadlines. Except, sometimes it can be hard to decide exactly what to do/watch/catch up on. Do you stay in with something new on Netflix or DVD/Bluray? Do you decide to see something to see on the big screen? Or do you finally cross that classic film off the to-watch list that’s been there for an embarrassingly long time? Well, that’s where I, and this feature, come in. Each week, I’m going to give you the Good, the Bad and the Personal of my film picks for this week. Something new out that you absolutely should check out, something you should absolutely avoid until it’s on over Christmas holidays and you’re forced into it and something I’ll be catching myself, which might be a new film or something a little older I’ve been shamefully avoiding.
But that’s enough out of me, on with the recommendations!
The Good: The Grand Budapest Hotel
It’s a Wes Anderson film, that should already be enough for you to want to check this out. If it’s not, well, let me tell you about the cast; Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Fiennes and Harvey Keitel. Read that again. Yup. They all have main-stage roles, and that’s not even all of them, just the ones I could remember off the top of my head. This is a comedy-drama of sorts with Ralph Fiennes in the leading role as a guest concierge whose framed for murder and well, I don’t want to say any more because it will totally take away from the experience. Was Anderson is one of the most distinctive film-makers around and his films just ooze charm. They feel closer to actual experiences rather than just films, and all with just very creative writing and an incredibly interesting way to approach narrative. See this in the cinema if you can, it doesn’t have a huge distribution company behind it so it’ll be gone before you know it. You won’t regret it.
The Bad: 300 – Rise of an Empire
I honestly don’t really have anything against this film. I mean it looks alright, I’m sure it’s good fun. It’s just, I’m sick of these big budget adaptations/sequels/remakes. It feels like the actual original films in the cinema are a rare treat, where it should be the other way around. The cast isn’t exactly stellar bar Eva Green and Lena Heady (Dredd, Game of Thrones) and it’s the directorial debut of Noam Murro, so that doesn’t strike too much confidence in me. That said, Gianni Nunnari being involved, whose production credits include Se7en, From Dusk Till Dawn and The Departed, means the film will absolutely look and sound the part.
Taking place before, during and after the events of 300, Rise of an Empire is based on the unpublished graphic novel sequel by Frank Miller, Xerxes. Frankly, we all know it’s going to be more of the same but on a bigger scale, and I would lay safe money that they’ve taken liberties with the story and script so it’s more action than cohesive narrative. If you’re looking for brainless brutality, this is probably for you, but if you’re looking for something a bit more refined in your entertainment, I’d say avoid.
The Anto: Veronica Mars
It’s finally here! After an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, the Veronica Mars film is finally gracing our screens and I am shamelessly excited! Set nine years after the end of season 3, the film is going to pick up with our Veronica living in New York City, trying to forget the town of Neptune and the constant heartache it had for her. Unfortunately, Neptune hasn’t forgotten her as her old high school sweetheart Logan Echolls is once again accused of murder. It’s a very by-the-numbers storyline, but it’s a deliciously by-the-numbers storyline. I realize I chastised sequels/reboots above, but please, give me a minute to explain myself. The thing is, this film is a direct result of fans kicking into gear to make it a thing. With it being crowd-funded, the demand was seen, heard and answered by people who want to see the film made. It’s not some big wigs in Hollywood assuming anyone cares, the middle-man has been cut out. Most of the original cast are making a return, and it seems to be a genuine real celebration of the power fans can have if they’re given the chance to choose what they want to see once in a while. I’m reminded of Firefly’s undying fanbase and how we got a film too, almost a decade ago. Now, another fanbase gets their film, and it feels dam good.
Well, there you go folks, go forth and be entertained! If you’re watching anything different this weekend, or know of anything a little obscure that I might be missing, feel free to leave a comment. See ya next week, same Arcade time, same Arcade channel!